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Mini Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Berries

This elegant summer berry mini pavlova is gorgeous and delicious. It has a meringue shell that is crisp outside and fluffy inside. Topped with cream lemon curd and fresh summer berries it is simple and stunning – perfect for a special occasion like Mother’s Day or another celebration.

summer berry pavlova cut open to show lemon curd

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This elegant dessert will be a show stopper at summer parties! My parents lived in Australia when I was young (too young to remember) and ever since then my mother has made Pavlova, a traditional Australian dessert.

Or maybe it is a traditional dessert from New Zealand? This is a matter of some dispute between the two countries and both claim credit! But either way my mom learned to make it in Australia many years ago.

This is my mom’s recipe for pavlova, filled with lemon curd, raspberries and blueberries. It was always a family tradition for her to make this for my little sister’s birthday, since my sister was born in Australia.

top view of mini pavlova

What is a Pavlova?

Pavlova is just a meringue bowl filled with fruit and topped with whipped cream. The dessert is named after ballerina Anna Pavlova and looks impressive but is actually fairly simple to make.

You can top the pavlova with any fruit you like, so I usually use berries of some kind. This recipe adds some homemade lemon curd to make it extra tasty. The lemon complements the fresh berries perfectly.

pavlova on a white cutting board

Mini Pavlova

My mom always makes her pavlova in one big 9 inch circle. But I like to make mini pavlova because they are easier to eat that way.

When you cut a big meringue it tends to just fall apart and crack! It still tastes good, but it gets messy. Smaller 3 inch pavlova are the perfect size for one person.

Why You Will Love These Mini Pavlova

  • They taste delicious, with a crisp outside and soft, marshmallowy center.
  • Lemon, raspberry and blueberry are the ultimate flavor combination.
  • These look amazing. If you take the time to use a pastry tip and make mini pavlova nests they are extra gorgeous. But even if you just spread the meringue with a spoon they still look fabulous.
ingredients for mini pavlova
Ingredients

Key Ingredients

  • Egg Whites – The egg whites are the base of the dessert. They are whipped into stiff peaks to give the dessert its shape.
  • Sugar – The granulated sugar makes the egg whites taste good. It also gives the meringue its light and airy texture.
  • Cornstarch – Cornstarch makes the shells fluffier.
  • Lemon juice – Pavlova needs something acidic to add volume to the dessert and I prefer lemon juice. You can’t taste the lemon in the final dessert.
  • Extract – Either vanilla extract or almond extract flavors the meringue.

Tips for Success

  • For best results make sure no egg white gets mixed with the yolks. It is easier to separate egg whites and yolks from when the eggs are cold. Then let the egg whites cool to room temperature before whipping.
  • Make sure the mixer bowl and beater are completely clean and free of grease.
  • If you haven’t whipped egg whites before check out this post for helpful pictures of the different stages egg whites go through.
  • It can be helpful to trace a 3 inch diameter circle on the parchment paper so you can make the pavlova all about the same size. Trace the circle with a pencil, then flip the parchment paper over so you can see the circle without getting pencil on the meringue.
making circles on parchment paper for the mini pavlova
Making Circles for the Mini Pavlova

How to Make Mini Pavlova Nests

1. Separate the Eggs

Crack cold eggs and separate the egg whites and yolks. You only want whites for pavlova and even a few specks of egg yolk can make the egg whites not whip well, so be careful.

separating eggs
Separating Eggs

Put the egg yolks aside. You can use them to make the lemon curd if you are making homemade! Let the bowl of egg whites cool to room temperature before continuing with the recipe.

2. Whip the Egg Whites

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F and prepare the baking trays. The baking tray need to be covered with parchment paper or a silicone baking sheet or the pavlova will stick. Don’t use waxed paper or foil or anything else!

Get the pastry bag and pastry tip ready to fill if you are using one. The recipe will go more smoothly if you prepare everything ahead of time.

Whip the egg whites on high speed, using a whisk attachment of an electric mixer, for 2 minutes, until soft peaks form. If there is a whisk attachment use it.

adding sugar to egg whites
Adding Sugar to the Egg Whites

While the mixer is still on gradually add the sugar, a spoonful at a time, and keep mixing until it has fully dissolved. Continue to beat on high speed for 10 minutes or until stiff peaks form.

after whipping the egg whites
Batter with Lemon Juice and Cornstarch Folded In

Once you have stiff peaks gently fold in the lemon juice, almond extract and cornstarch. Don’t use the mixer, fold it in with a spatula.

3. Form the Pavlova

Scoop the meringue into the prepared pastry bag.

getting ready to pipe the egg white mixture
Getting the Pastry Bag Ready

Pipe it directly onto the parchment paper in 3 inch round circle.

min pavlova on a baking sheet
Piping the Pavlova

Leave a depression in the middle for adding the filling and berries.

mini pavlova shells made with a spoon
Pavlova Shells Made with a Spoon

Alternately you can use a spoon and spoon dollops of the meringue onto the parchment paper. Use the spoon to build up an edge for the filling. They aren’t quite as pretty, but they work fine.

4. Bake and Cool

Put the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for 1 hour at 225 degrees F. Don’t open the oven to peak while it bakes!

pavolva shells before baking
Tray of Pavlova

After one hour turn the oven off and let the dessert cool in the oven for at least 1 hour, but preferably overnight. Letting them cool in the oven makes them less likely to crack.

How to Store

Store the pavlova at room temperature until you are ready to serve. If it is humid they can start to get soggy, so keep them in an airtight container. Otherwise just cover them loosely and they will keep for 2-3 days.

Filling the Pavlova

Do not fill the mini pavlova shells until you are ready to serve, because the lemon curd and fruit will make them soggy.

I include my recipe for homemade lemon curd below, but you can use store bought or skip it and just fill the pavlova with fresh summer berries. If you are using lemon curd top each meringue with lemon curd in the center depression.

filling the pavlova with lemon curd
Adding the Lemon Curd

Whip the heavy cream with the 2 tablespoons sugar until it is creamy and soft peaks form. Put it in a piping bag and use the whipped cream to cover the lemon curd.

adding the whipped cream
Topping with Whipped Cream

Then finish the dessert off with fresh blueberries, raspberries or strawberries. Garnish with some mint and dust them with powdered sugar for a gorgeous dessert.

pavlova cut open to show the lemon curd filling

Variations

  • You can use the same recipe to make a larger, 9 inch meringue shell.
  • Almost any kind of soft fruits work well in a pavlova – other types berries or kiwi are delicious.
  • If you like you can stack the pavlova for a multilayered dessert.
stacked pavlova with berries
Mini Pavlova Stacked

FAQ

What is the difference between meringue and pavlova?

Both meringue and pavlova are desserts made by whipping egg whites. The main difference between the two desserts is the texture. Meringue is dry and crispy while pavlova is soft and marshmallow like on the inside. 

Can I make pavlova ahead of time?

Conveniently pavlova is a dessert that is best when it is made ahead of time. It needs to sit for at least 1 hour after baking and it is best if it sits overnight. So making it a day before filling it is ideal. 

Find More Berry Desserts

Yield: 16

Lemon Curd

spoon with dripping lemon curd

Homemade lemon curd is a delicious topping with an amazing blend of sweet and tart.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • 4 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon zest (about 1 lemon)

Instructions

  1. Juice the lemons so you get 1/2 cup of lemon juice. Zest one of the lemons.
  2. In a small saucepan combine the egg yolks, sugar and lemon juice. Whisk over low heat until blended.
  3. Add the butter and lemon zest, still stirring, and cook until thicken enough to coat the spoon, about 10 minutes. You can also use a thermometer and cook until the lemon curd reaches 160 degrees F.
  4. Strain it through a wire mesh to eliminate the lemon zest and any eggy bits.
  5. Pour the lemon curd into a bowl or glass jar and let it cool to room temperature.
  6. Then refrigerate until ready to use.

Notes

Because this recipe requires consistent stirring get everything ready before you start heating it. You don't want to be trying to zest a lemon or find a whisk while the lemon curd cooks.

For best results keep the burner on low and keep stirring. Don't try to rush things along by turning up the heat.

If you prefer a sweeter lemon curd then you can increase the sugar in the recipe to 1 cup.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

16

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 89Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 25mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 0gSugar: 13gProtein: 1g

Nutrition facts are estimates.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

Yield: 16

Summer Berry Pavlova

mini pavlova with lemon curd and berries on a cutting board

This elegant summer berry mini pavlova is gorgeous and delicious.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients

Pavlova

  • 6 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Topping

  • homemade lemon curd
  • 1 quart raspberries
  • 1 quart blueberries
  • 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  • 2 Tablespoon sugar

Instructions

    1. Crack 6 eggs and separate out the yolks from the egg whites. Place egg whites in a small dish and allow to sit on the counter to reach room temperature. Set yokes aside. Use them for making lemon curd if desired.
    2. Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Get everything ready for piping the meringue.
    3. Whip the egg whites on high for 2 minutes, until soft peaks form. While the mixer is still on gradually add the sugar a little at a time until it has fully dissolved. Continue to beat on high for 10 minutes or until stiff peaks form.
    4. Once stiff peaks form gently fold in the lemon juice, almond extract and cornstarch. Don't beat them in, fold them in with a spatula.
    5. Scoop the meringue into the prepared pastry bag with the piping tip.
    6. Pipe the meringue directly onto the parchment paper in roughly 3 inch round circles. Leave a depression in the middle for filling.
    7. Alternately, if you don't have a piping bag, you can use a spoon to spoon the meringue in 3 inch circles, building up an edge. You can also make a larger 8-9 inch pavlova if you don't want mini pavlova.
    8. Bake for 1 hour at 225 F. Then turn the oven off and let the meringue cool at least 1 hour but preferably overnight in the oven.
    9. Store the meringues at room temperature until you are ready to serve. If you fill them ahead of time the meringues will get soggy.
    10. When you are ready to serve whip the cream with the 2 T. of sugar until it is creamy and forms soft peaks.
    11. Top each meringue with lemon curd in the middle, followed by whipped cream, and then berries and mint leaves.

Notes

  • For best results make sure no egg white gets mixed with the yolks. It is easier to separate egg whites and yolks from when the eggs are cold. Then let the egg whites cool to room temperature before whipping.
  • Make sure the mixer bowl and beater are completely clean and free of grease.
  • It can be helpful to trace a 3 inch diameter circle on the parchment paper so you can make the pavlova all about the same size. Trace the circle with a pencil, then flip the parchment paper over so you can see the circle without getting pencil on the meringue.
  • Recommended Products

    As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    16

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 304Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 54mgSodium: 60mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 3gSugar: 39gProtein: 4g

    Nutrition facts are estimates.

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    pavlova on a cutting board with berries
    collage pin for pinterest of pavlova
    Summer Berry Pavlova
    By on April 16th, 2021

    27 thoughts on “Mini Pavlova with Lemon Curd and Berries”

    1. Hi! I love your pictures (Totally pinning since I stopped over from Play. Party. Pin;) . I live in a place with high humidity, and will be travelling home to another place with high humidity. I was playing around with recipes the other day involving meringue cups, too, however it was so humid the meringues quickly lost that charming crunch you get before they melt in your mouth….any tips fellow meringue enthousiast?;)

      Reply
    2. We will just love your Summer Berry Pavlova, it looks delicious! Hope you have had a great weekend and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday!
      Come Back Soon,
      Miz Helen

      Reply
    3. This looks wonderful– something I know my whole family would enjoy. Thanks for linking up with \”Try a New Recipe Tuesday.\” Hope you will be able to join us again this week. 🙂

      Reply
    4. I always thought pavlova sounded so exotic and difficult, but you make it look easy. And beautiful. Great tip about making an outline on parchment. Thank you for sharing!

      Reply

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